Regarding The Pain Of Others
  • Regarding The Pain Of Others
  • Regarding The Pain Of Others
  • Regarding The Pain Of Others
ISBN: 0312422199
EAN13: 9780312422196
Language: English
Release Date: Feb 1, 2004
Pages: 131
Dimensions: 0.36" H x 8.25" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 0.52 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

Beautifully repackaged as part of the Picador Modern Classics Series, this special edition is small enough to fit in your pocket and bold enough to stand out on your bookshelf.

Considered one of the greatest critics of her generation, Susan Sontag followed up her monumental On Photography with an extended study of human violence, reflecting on a question first posed by Virginia Woolf in Three Guineas How in your opinion are we to prevent war?

For a long time some people believed that if the horror could be made vivid enough, most people would finally take in the outrageousness, the insanity of war.

One of the distinguishing features of modern life is that it supplies countless opportunities for regarding (at a distance, through the medium of photography) horrors taking place throughout the world. But are viewers inured--or incited--to violence by the depiction of cruelty? Is the viewer's perception of reality eroded by the daily barrage of such images? What does it mean to care about the sufferings of others far away?

First published more than twenty years after her now classic book On Photography, which changed how we understand the very condition of being modern, Regarding the Pain of Others challenges our thinking not only about the uses and means of images, but about how war itself is waged (and understood) in our time, the limits of sympathy, and the obligations of conscience.

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Book Reviews (8)

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   I believe that this book gives good observations and questions of the nature and response to ...
I believe that this book contains real observations and questions of nature and response to photography, art and other depictions of war, rather than any good answers. Is it voyeurism looking at the gruesome and tragic or does it elicit some compassion and motivate protests? How are the dead of enemy, civilians and friendly combatants shown in pictures? is remembering things that we have not experienced through photographs an ethical act? In modern times, we have become attached to these images, accepted as the daily news diet. The examples she gives from paintings, photographs and movies can be narrated pretty quickly as you read along. It goes beyond propaganda and romanticism, which were the first things I expected when I received this book. Honestly, I felt that the book was a good companion tool in reading these visual examples, seeing the quotes and observations that Sontag gives and seeing how I respond to them.
I had never heard Susan Sontag before my class on photography. I bought the book myself and went ahead. Later in the semester, we read a short bit on the subject of pain of others, it was even better. All I can say is based on those 2, especially this one ; Susan Sontag is amazing. I don 't agree with everything she says, but I can not recall an instance in which I felt misguided or confused. Since then, I learned of her reputation and must say that she earned it. It is a shame that she doesn 't have more time to write, though there are many other pieces that I have yet to read. The best thing I can say is that reading her allows the chance to have a discussion with her almost in my experience. It is written in such a way that it is not fed to the reader like a spoon. That is not to say that it is a hard read, but it is open enough that your own thoughts can blend with hers.
   Brilliant and Insightful, Another Addition to the Sontag Canon
Combining her engagement with the meaning of empathy with her passion for photography, Sontag achieves a highly readable win.
   On Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
Beautifully written and enlightening picture of the cruelty people afflict on one another without thinking or even realizing that the one suffering is exactly like us, a human being with a heart, a soul and a mind. Warum can 't we learn as humankind to see beyond our differences and enjoy the beauty of living? Collectively, we could do so much good if we lived and liive, as long as someone does not cause any harm to others, why do we care what religion, sexual orientation, color or absence of, or whatever another chooses to believe? Let weird be funnier and bizarre be wackier as long as we live in peace with the Earth and its resources. I read her thoughts and I wish that everyone would love her books.
I read it last year, but I bought it because it had been lent to me. I use it now for my thesis. I'm excited to read her other books.
   The author asks questions and triggers insights about our fascination ...
There may be no magic remedies that would guarantee more caring attitudes towards other and empathetic interactions among peoples, but it would have been a more satisfying read to have the author presenting some possible ways of nurturing care for all.
   Well crafted, but just good
Seemed to linger on points that you shared with the author when he went into the book. Didn 't quite feel like I had my view expanded, but the depth of the conversation is what I expected from what I knew about the author. I found myself researching the images and art and photographer named she used as a reference.
   Insightful, well written book on how war imagery has been used
Great book on the history of how photographs have been used in presenting war and tragedy. Sontag challenges the way that society thinks about how these images are used and should be used. While I think that some of her analogies and conclusions are flawed, I appreciate her view and believe that this book is a valuable asset in art history, in particular photographers.